Obama on the road to pitch health bill

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In Philadelphia, Mr. Obama rallied the crowd.

“I need you to knock on doors, talk to your neighbors, pick up the phone. When you hear an argument by the water cooler and somebody is saying this or that about it, say, ‘No, no, no, no, hold on a second,’ ” Mr. Obama said to an enthusiastic audience. “We need you to make your voices heard all the way in Washington, D.C.”

Mr. Obama last week unveiled a version of the Senate’s health care bill that included some Republican ideas and called on Congress to push forward using a process known as reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to avoid a Republican filibuster that would require 60 votes to overcome. Under the complex parliamentary procedure, House Democrats would pass the Senate bill and both chambers would then approve a package of fixes. Senate Democrats would need only a simple majority, 51 votes, to pass the legislation.

House Democratic leaders are scrambling for votes because numerous rank-and-file Democrats have expressed concerns with the Senate bill. Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, who voted for the House bill, is leading a coalition of pro-life Democrats who oppose the upper chamber’s language on federal funding of abortion.

Republicans have demanded that Democrats restart the health care reform process and pursue an incremental bipartisan approach. They cite public opinion polls showing dim support for the comprehensive bill.

About the Author
Kara Rowland

Kara Rowland

Kara Rowland, White House reporter for The Washington Times, is a D.C.-area native. She graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied American government and spent nearly all her waking hours working as managing editor of the Cavalier Daily, UVa.’s student newspaper.

Her interest in political reporting was piqued by an internship at Roll Call the summer before her ...

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